THE Portsmouth diocese has said ‘yes’ in a vote that helps pave the way for the first women to become bishops in the Church of England.
Its Diocesan Synod approved proposals that would allow women to be consecrated as bishops.
It was one of 44 dioceses invited to consider draft legislation from the Church of England’s national General Synod. As all but two dioceses voted in favour, the proposals will be debated again by the General Synod next year. It will probably vote next July on the issue and the first women bishops could be consecrated in 2014.
Members of the Diocesan Synod – the diocese’s ‘parliament’ – from across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight listened carefully to the arguments in favour of the proposals.
The Bishop of Portsmouth, Christopher Foster, voted in favour of the draft legislation. The diocese’s clergy voted 36-2 in favour and the laity 36-6 in favour, with no abstentions.